As I was saying in my last post, we decided to leave the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo a little early and unfortunately missed seeing celebrity chef David Adjey on the Food Network Stage. As we left the main room and proceeded to make our way to street level, we got a bit lost along the way. No matter—our accidental detour turned out to be the highlight of the evening (besides the actual food and wine, of course).
Ok, so this part of the story requires a brief ‘aside.’ Back when I was 6 or 7, I wrote a letter to TVO Kids, an Ontario television network, for a question-and-answer segment. The way it worked was that a kid would send in a question via snail mail and one of the hosts—either Patty, Kevin or Joe—would answer it on the show. What I desperately wanted to know was how the streetlights get turned on (obvious, I know–but I was only 6!). My question was such a good one (or perhaps just too hard to explain to kids in words) that they did a special long segment outside of the studio. One of the hosts went up in a cherry picker and explained that streetlights have a pudding-cup-shaped photo sensor that “tells” the light when it’s dark enough to turn on. Duh. But I was glowing with pride when Kevin announced my name and hometown (more than once!) for all to hear. It was just too cool.
What on earth was the point of that tangent, you ask? Keep listening. So Kevin turned out to be Food Network personality Kevin Brauch, whom I’ve followed on TV since his Thirsty Traveler days and through to his more recent gig as the floor reporter on Iron Chef. But I never thought I’d get the chance to meet the guy responsible for my 15 minutes of childhood fame…until I realized he was making an appearance at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo.
After we found our way back to the main lobby of the convention centre, we happened to peek into a side room where it looked like people were clearing out. Lo and behold, there was Kevin Brauch, standing on a small stage giving out leftover booze from his tasting seminar. There were only a dozen people in the room, so his assistant shut the door and let us drink whatever was left, including Patrón tequila—no joke! I’m not sure if it was due to the large quantity of wine that I had sampled earlier, or the tequila (now that I think about it, it was probably the tequila), but the next thing I knew I was up on that stage talking, laughing and drinking with Kevin Brauch. I even brought up the TVO Kids thing as a joke, and it turns out he not only invented the segment (he corrected me on the title—hah!) but he also remembered my exact question! He even mentioned the cherry picker and the “pudding cup” photo sensor, two specifics he couldn’t have possibly known had he not remembered.
The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo was definitely an event I’ll never forget. Missing David Adjey was so worth it.